Distracted By Plastic Bags

As the financial system tailspins and sputters about and the Canadian government assures us that the Tar Sands are good for the nation; I’m reminded just how much of the everyday news we receive is marketing spin. And unfortunately the greenies are just as distracted by it as many other people. Words such as sustainable, “good for the environment”, and worst of them all, “green” are popping up on products made by companies who’s CEO’s must have a hard time looking in the mirror. Ultimately, we are being marketed a picture of a choice, and in many instances, the products we’re purchasing are still made by workers in near slave-like conditions, overpackaged, overpriced, and surrounded by false claims and advertising catchwords.

The Value of Place for Small Communities

While considering the history of Rossland, I was struck by the fact that at it’s peak population last century, there were about 6,000 people living in the mountain community, mainly because of the quantity of gold being extracted from under its feet and the surrounding mountains. Since that time, the community has waxed and waned, …

The White Man’s Peak Oil Pie-Eating Competition

The world is made up of a lot of stupid people – most of these people are white, stupid white people. And funnily enough, most of the mega-corporations in the world are run by white men. Now there are a lot of people who are white and not stupid, I’d hate to alienate all white people, but I’d have to say, (and note at this point, before you call me a racist pig, that I myself am white), that for the most part, the stupidest people in the world are white.

BC Ministry Official States that Peak Oil is Not a Matter of Public Interest

A representative of the BC Ministry of Transportation recently asserted, “the topic of peak oil is interesting, but is not considered to be of public interest in British Columbia”.

The Product of the 20th Century – CO2

Back in the sixties, a bold group of thought-leaders considered the path of growth that the world appeared to be heading on, and asked themselves the question, “can there be limits to growth?”. At the time, this was considered a preposterous idea, right in the golden age of the automobile and suburban sprawl with cookie cutter bungalows popping up all over North America.

Goats on the Front Line of Weed Control

[ad#125-right]Many communities in the Kootenays face massive problems with invasive weed species, particularly along rural road shoulders and on the fringes of urban development. A recent article by CBC describes a study lauding the benefits of goats in combating this problem – which is likely to get worse with climate change.   The study, led …

Jobs in the West Kootenays

40867153_ee7ecdcfb1_m Recently I’ve been wading through regional and municipal growth predictions proposed over the past ten years. One of the things that hasn’t been factored in any of the scenarios I’ve read is the trend towards an aging population that will require an increased younger serving group to move in, (assuming static or improving levels of service).

George Penfold, the regional innovation chair in rural economic development at Selkirk College in Castlegar, said the West Kootenay could see a shortage of 13,000 workers within five years.

Penfold also told the Regional District of Central Kootenay the choking impacts of the baby boom are already being felt in the region and it is getting worse.

edmontonsun.com – Canada- Baby boomer’s retiring

With local unemployment at record lows, many businesses are already finding it hard to keep up with demand for their services.

The region as a whole needs to do some wholesale promotion of the region as a cheap viable place to live and raise a family.

Casino Free Castlegar

363469200_23d22b09b5_mWe’ll it looks like Castlegar is in line to get a Cashino, (must have been a Freudian slip!). Cash seems to be the view that council has about the proposal, at least that’s what I get from reading the local newspaper, (sorry, no online edition here!), but I’ve quoted the best bits.

For a city surrounded by natural beauty, rivers, lakes, fishing, biking, hiking, golf, skiing, snowmobiling, it’s hard to imagine why we’d need another reason for people to come here, particularly one that is at odds with nature. It’s not natural to sit indoors in a sensory overloaded room staring at a slot machine for hours on end. On the contrary, it is intentionally addictive, they want you to stay there to blow even more of your money.

Also, check out the end of the article for the real reason Castlegar was selected, tell me it’s not true! I challenge you! Then vote for yourself on the real reason in the poll!

BC’s Newest Casino?

Now, when I say, “in line” to get a casino, apparently there is a selection process by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. Hang on, a competition to work out which city is going to get the right to host a casino. A bit much don’t you think. Perhaps they should have started with community input, rather than ending with it? Here’s a snippet of the news…

“The selection of the City of Castlegar is the first milestone in BCLC’s process for choosing the most appropriate location for a community gaming centre,” said Marsha Walden, BCLC’s Vice President of Bingo Gaming. “The City must now review a development proposal from BCLC’s service provider and obtain community input.”

Source: Lottery.com – News – Article Display

What’s a gaming centre? I’ll spell it out C-A-S-I-N-O. No euphemisms please, just the facts please Ma’am. Games are things you play at home with your kids like scrabble and snakes and ladders, or things you play outside like soccer or baseball. Why don’t they call it a Gambling Centre, that would be more accurate really.

Can’t wait for the public forum on this one, I thought the water meter sessions were fun, maybe it will even go to a referendum?

What the Mayor Said About the Proposed Castlegar Casino…

Mayor Chernoff did say that the city would put some money towards gambling addiction problems if they arise. “We’ll put some money towards that… We’ll look after the public, we’re not here to hurt or harm families. We’re here to provide another source of entertainment to the West Kootenay.”

Council hasn’t decided how it will spend it’s 10% take of slot machine revenue. “It’s a nice chunk of money that will surely help the city in things that we want to do … it won’t go to a specific thing … we’ll try to create some more opportunities. Who are we helping in the long term? The taxpayers and that’s what we are trying to do.”

Castlegar Current, Thursday, July 19, 2007 p3

Spoken like a true salesman! Just because some one wants to “give you money” so to speak, doesn’t mean you have to take it! How about waiting to see what the public say before you work out where your ten percent is going? I mean maybe he has done his own research, and figures that the majority of the city want a casino, but most everyone I’ve spoken to about it thinks the idea is bad.

What really disappoints me, is that rather than shooting from the hip, the city should have prepared a press release regarding this matter, with a carefully worded response to the news. Casinos may offer holiday destinations, entertainment and a level of employment, but they can also destroy lives.

I couldn’t decide between the Casino Simpsons scene or the monorail one to represent the problem … So you get both. Enjoy, (then keep reading!) More after the jump…